In 1998, Nechama Laber founded the Capital Region Bat Mitzvah Club under Bat Mitzvah Clubs International and Chabad of the Capital District. The Bat Mitzvah Club is designed for girls in grades 5-7 to learn that becoming a Bat Mitzvah is much more than just a party. Club meetings include exciting activities, games, journal writing, crafts and more. Activities center around a new theme each year.

In 2001, the Bat Mitzvah Club expanded to the Bat Mitzvah Camp, a day camp for Jewish Girls. In 2004, the Bat Mitzvah Camp held its first overnight camp in Sage College, Troy. In 2004, the Bat Mitzvah Club expanded to include an all girls teen club, called Teen Leadership Club for post BMC girls in grades 8-11. In 2006, the Bat Mitzvah Camp was renamed to the Jewish Girls Retreat and includes the Yaldah, BMC and TLC divisions for girls ages  8-16 years old. The first JGR Winter Retreat occured in  2007, when the Labers teamed up with Leah Caras from Yaldah Magazine, a JGR alumni.

Our motto “Where every Girl is Family!” sums it up perfectly as girls form lasting friendships and become like sisters. All girls are welcome to join our clubs or retreats regardless of Jewish affiliation.